Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meditations on Carole King

Dear John,
 
It's gray and foggy still, and has rained off and on all day. There have been some storms, so I've spent a good part of the evening with the dog piled in my lap in terror and the cat snoring on my shoulder.
 
I took Hunter for his 4-month check-up and vaccines today. In a month he's grown from 1.6 pounds to 3.6  - no wonder he's been eating me out of house and home. He more than doubled in size. He'll get his last vaccines next month. He's a sweet little thing, very affectionate and cuddly, and he travels happily in his carrier. And he and the dog are fond of each other and play quite well. I'm so glad to have them both.
 
I've been a little teary, in a sad and sentimental sort of way, since I talked to you last night. Remembering the last time you saw Jethro got me weepy. Then I got on Facebook, and a friend had posted Carole King's So Far Away. The lyrics started running in my head, and I cried and wailed with total abandon. "Long ago I reached for you, and there you stood." I don't think any song has reduced me so completely to mush since "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It was good for me - I hadn't had a good cry in a while. Jethro came and licked my tears away while Hunter sat on my shoulder and rubbed my head with his paws. "If I could only work this life out my way, I'd rather spend it being close to you. But you're so far away."
 
The song is about physical separation, not death. But death, for us, is just a temporary physical separation. And it's more separate for me than for you. I think there are times, maybe lots of times, when you're right here with me - I'm the one with blind eyes that can only see this world. I still wish my calling plan reached Heaven. But if it did, honestly, would I ever get anything done around here? Verizon-to-Verizon, minutes don't count - I'd never hang up the phone. And all my life I've known, all the way to my bones, that those who are in Christ are joined to each other; it doesn't matter whether you're in this world or the next. Joined is joined. And you and I are joined sacramentally - the two became one flesh, in ways we couldn't have dreamed of before marriage, and probably in ways you understand now and I still don't.
 
I heard a Cialis commercial on television tonight - there was the usual disclaimer: Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. And my brain immediately offered up the conclusion that my heart is definitely not. It's broken. It is incapable of sexual anything. What were those old, awful song lyrics? "She ripped out my heart and stomped that sucker flat?" Something like that. Well, your death took my heart and stomped that sucker flat. There are a lot of things my heart isn't healthy enough for. One of them appears to be the Tapestry album. Tomorrow I think I'll stay with Willie Dixon.
 
Tonight your little family will huddle together - me because I'm teary, Jethro because it's storming, Hunter because he's tired from his long car ride. And maybe your place won't be quite as empty as it seems.
 
Love you with all my broken heart,
Joan.

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